Wed, Apr 12, 2017 - Page 7 News List

Man kills wife, student in California class

MURDER-SUICIDE:Cedric Anderson, who had been estranged from his wife, a special-education teacher, had a history of weapons and domestic violence

AP, SAN BERNARDINO, California

North Park Elementary School students and parents are reunited at Cajon High School after a shooting at their school on Monday in San Bernardino, California.

Photo: AFP

A man walked into his estranged wife’s elementary-school classroom in San Bernardino, California, and opened fire without saying a word, killing her and an eight-year-old student before shooting himself in a murder-suicide that spread panic across a city still recovering emotionally from a terror attack just 15 months ago.

A nine-year-old student was also critically wounded. He and the boy who died were behind their special-education teacher, Karen Elaine Smith, 53, the target of the man she had married months earlier, police said.

The shooting left hundreds of distraught parents waiting for hours to reunite with their children.

Staffers knew Cedric Anderson, who had been estranged from his wife for about a month, and he got into the school by saying he had to drop something off for Smith, officials said.

“No one has come forward to say they saw this coming,” San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan told reporters.

Anderson had a history of weapons, domestic violence and possible drug charges that predated the short marriage, authorities said.

He frequently wrote social media posts about his wife over the past month. On what appeared to be his Facebook page, Anderson said he “loved being married to Karen Smith-Anderson!” and posted a photograph of the two of them on March 4 in what he described as a date night.

He posted several photographs of his wedding to Smith early this year and their honeymoon in Sedona, Arizona.

Smith’s mother, Irma Sykes, said her daughter had been friends with Anderson for about four years before they got married.

“She thought she had a wonderful husband, but she found out he was not wonderful at all,” Sykes told the Los Angeles Times.

“He had other motives,” Sykes said. “She left him and that’s where the trouble began. She broke up with him and he came out with a different personality. She decided she needed to leave him.”

She did not elaborate further.

Sykes said her daughter was a dedicated teacher who took up the profession about 10 years ago after her four children grew up.

Fifteen students ranging from first to fourth grade were in the special-education classroom at North Park Elementary School, along with two adult aides and Smith, when Anderson emptied a large-caliber revolver and reloaded. He then turned the gun on himself.

Marissa Perez, 9, was in the classroom hiding under a table.

“A boy just walked in with a gun,” she said shortly after she and her mother, Elizabeth Barajas, were reunited.

The two cried, hugged and trembled. Barajas held the sweater her daughter had been wearing. It was speckled with blood.

“He just shot everywhere,” Marissa said. “My friend and my teacher. They got shot.”

Jonathan Martinez, the eight-year-old, was airlifted to a hospital and died soon after arriving, Burguan said.

The nine-year-old boy, whose name was not released, has been stabilized at a hospital.

The 600 other students at the school were bused to safety at California State University’s San Bernardino campus, after many walked off campus hand-in-hand, escorted by police.

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